We all know about the dangers of drunken driving but fewer people pay attention to the rules when they are out on the water. Other lake users or boaters often pay a high price.
In June, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported on how an Atlanta man was allegedly under the influence at the time of a deadly boating accident on Lake Blue Ridge.
The AJC reported 44-year-old Chad Philip Haase, 44, was charged with first-degree homicide by vessel, boating under the influence, serious injury by vessel, and possession of marijuana, according to Georgia Department of Natural Resources spokesman Mark McKinnon.
Haase was reported to be piloting a boat. Two people were in a tube being towed behind it when it hit the shoreline.
David Harvey Payseur III, a 47-year-old from Atlanta, was killed. Deborah Brooks, 48, was flown to Erlanger Medical Center in Chattanooga for the treatment of her injuries.
The incident highlights how dangerous lakes and waterways in Georgia can be.
Lake Lanier in northeast Georgia has a particularly deadly reputation. The Department of Natural Resources notes since 1994, the northeast Georgia lake that includes parts of Hall, Forsyth, Dawson, Gwinnett, and Lumpkin counties — has seen at least 160 deaths.
The deadly reputation of Lake Lanier is partly due to its popularity, DNR spokesman Mark McKinnon told the AJC.
McKinnon attributed Lake Lanier’s incident rate to the sheer number of visitors it draws. He said:
“There are simply more incidents on Lanier due to the volume of visitors. Lanier has many more boaters and swimmers than any other lake in the state, including Allatoona.”
McKinnon warned drinking alcohol and piloting a boat will land boaters in serious trouble.
He said drinking alcohol and boating was viewed differently to drinking alcohol and driving a car and was a common practice for many years.
However, stricter news laws and enforcement mean boaters are finally getting the message that alcohol and boating don’t mix.
If you have been hurt or lost a loved one in a boating accident, you may have grounds to file an injury lawsuit. Call our Newnan personal injury lawyer for more details today at (404) 913-1529. We offer free consultations.